Article Susanova: From individual actions to a sustainable policy

June 15, 2023

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Training at an appropriate time, an annual teambuilding, strong leadership, positive connection …. There are many ways to embed well-being in your organisation. Each organisation, each vision and each team is unique. But those who really want to create impact, must deploy a long-term well-being policy, according to B-Tonic, subsidiary of insurance company Baloise, that helps companies get started with the People Sustainability Scan.

sustainability scan b tonic

“The People Sustainability Scan is a lever for success and positive impact”, says Siviglia Berto, Managing Director of B-Tonic. The company helps small and large companies take their well-being policy to a higher level. “With the scan, we identify all well-being and HR initiatives within a company. We then link them to the 17 SDGs. The Sustainable Development Goals are a useful and understandable framework for your well-being policy. Even companies that are not familiar with them are quickly on board.”

All this results in a clear overview that shows into which types of initiatives you put a lot of effort and into which ones (too) little. “The scan identifies all well-being themes: working conditions, learning and development, health and safety, well-being, equality, diversity and inclusion, impact on local communities, work-life balance … Based on these insights, you can determine a strategy and set up a multi-year action plan. To inspire organisations, we share the best practices.”

Walk the talk

“With a plan of action, you show your employees that you approach well-being in a substantiated and sustainable way. With the goal of creating long-term positive impact – for your employees, your business, your customers and your stakeholders.”

Individual initiatives, such as a veggie day or ping pong table, make no sense, Berto says firmly. “They do not contribute to the well-being of your employees in the long run. The same goes for individual sustainability actions. Do more. For example, explain to your employees the benefits of vegetarian food or exercise. Extend your vision to your employer branding and to your event policy. In short: walk the talk.”

“If you can get 15 percent of your employees enthused, the rest will come. That is how you create support and positive acceleration within your organisation.”

Schermafbeelding 2023 06 15 om 13.04.35

In addition to the scan, B-Tonic also developed a dashboard. This allows you to monitor planned actions, link KPIs and data, detect blind spots and test ideas. Furthermore, you can integrate all information in your ESG or sustainability report.

The coming years, many obligations will be imposed on companies in this area. ”Many companies currently focus on the environmental part of their reporting, but forget the S in ESG (Environment, Social and Governance, Ed.). Whilst physical and mental health is an important pillar of sustainable business. Our scan gives you all the data you need.”

Importance of the manager

Attracting and retaining the right profiles: that is the challenge for many companies, regardless of the sector. Berto: “What does a company do for its employees? What can I learn here? How will I feel here? These are the questions candidates are asking themselves today.”

“We also see that the role of the leader has never been more important. These people see a lot coming their way but lack the tools to reduce absenteeism and ensure the well-being of their employees. We see this in the scan results. In many places, there is a lack of offer for leaders around soft skills, coaching …”

“There have never been so many long-term ill people. In Belgium, more than 500,000 people are absent for more than a year. In the past five years, absence due to burnout or depression has increased by 46 percent. If we want to bring those numbers down, we all need to work on a better, sustainable well-being policy.”

More than better ecological and economic results

Investing in people sustainability pays off. Research shows that employees of organisations committed to people sustainability have higher job satisfaction, are more productive, are less likely to leave their job and are better able to achieve their career goals. And 86 percent of organisations around the globe agrees or strongly agrees that their ecological or economic results were improved after an investment in people sustainability. When your employees are well-supported, you notice it in your business.”

Four types of well-being

A well-being policy with impact should focus on four dimensions, according to B-Tonic: mental and emotional well-being (insight in yourself, coping with stress and adversity, agility), physical well-being (insight in your health), social well-being (staying in touch with colleagues, friends, family, society) and financial well-being (having your money matters under control and coping with financial challenges).

Siviglia Berto: “It makes no sense to focus on the first three without the fourth. Through the covid pandemic and the energy crisis we learnt that financial well-being is crucial. You can have one hundred and one initiatives: if people worry about not being able to pay their bills, nothing works. You can read more about it in our trend report.”

To help employees make the right financial choices, Baloise developed an online platform: gonna.be. You can, for instance, simulate what will happen to your income when you fall absent due to illness.

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maartje vanewijk

Annelies Theunissen
People Sustainability Expert

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